Dash cam recording systems are becoming very popular with owner-operators and trucking fleets because they can be used to protect truckers against fraudulent claims, which can inflate insurance costs and result in thousands of dollars (or more) in damages. Imagine being in an accident and being unable to prove the other vehicle was at fault. Given the relatively low cost of dash cam systems, it makes sense why dash cams are becoming increasingly standard in the commercial trucking industry. Along with other recent advents in commercial trucking technology such as GPS tracking systems and fuel cards, dash cam systems can also be used to monitor and improve trucking safety and efficiency, potentially reducing the risk of accidents and ensuring that truckers are driving optimal routes.
Colonial Trucking Insurance advocates the use of dash cam systems for commercial truckers, and we recommend them to most of our clients as a layer of protection in the event the “at fault” vehicle is in question after an accident. With so many dash camera systems available on the market today, how do you choose which one is the best fit for your trucking operation? Below we list our top picks for dash cam systems based on what our clients have told us.
Best Dash Cam Systems for Truckers
Smart Drive is a comprehensive vehicle data and video recording technology. The system activates video recording when there is an “event,” such as hard braking or a collision, and records for 10 seconds before and after the event. The video feed is uploaded via a 3G/4G device, and each event is analyzed and scored based on the severity of the event. Fleet managers can review these events regularly, coach drivers, and reinforce good driving habits. Smart Drive is ideal for large fleets (25+ power units) who have a dedicated safety manager.
Below are just a few of the results SmartDrive customers have achieved since deploying our video-based safety program:
“…65% drop in high risk events…”
“…87% improvement in driving skills…”
“…sustained fuel savings of 3.03%…”
A typical system costs $500-$600 per truck. This includes inward / outward cameras, controller box, ECM connection and all the necessary power cables to install the system. SmartDrive will also handle installations, typically for under $200 per truck. As part of the package, Smart Drive’s Assurance Service plan includes 20 offloaded and reviewed events and 5 on-demand events per vehicle / month. We have contracted with Smart Drive to offer you a hardware and service discount. For more information, check out Smart Drive for Commercial Vehicles.
Web site: www.smartdrive.net
This versatile system includes can include 2, 4 or 8 camera systems. TTI Systems also offers live monitoring and GPS tracking systems is also available. The event recording system activates video recording when there is an “event” such as hard braking or a collision and records 10 seconds before and after the event. The video feed from this event can be captured on an SD memory card and optionally transmitted via a wireless network to a remote server.
Between $300 and $1,000 per vehicle, depending on the type of system.
Web site: www.tt-i.info
Safety Track UCIT Camera System
Safety Track allows truckers to livestream their dash cam’s video feed over Verizon’s 4G network — an industry first. Safety Track’s UCIT camera system offers HD quality and real-time viewing, all in one package. Instantaneous e-mail and SMS alerts are available for g-force events (hard braking, hard acceleration, and impact) along with 30-second video recordings of these events.
Safety Track also providers a comprehensive GPS tracking unit which can be used alongside the dash cam system, which provides a full line of reporting features.
Web site: www.safetytrack.net
Various dash camera vendors sell their products online. These include Timetec Road Hawk, Indigi Dash Cam, Zetronix, and more. While Colonial Insurance has not reviewed these systems, they share similar capabilities to the solutions recommended above, including event video recording, night vision recording, wide angle lenses, and so on. These systems are typically priced between $150 – $400 per vehicle.
The solutions we suggested above have the advantage of having video footage uploaded wirelessly to a third party, whereas other more “DIY”-oriented solutions are typically limited to local storage (usually on SD cards). This could potentially cause problems if it looks like the video footage has been tampered with by the trucker, or if the local storage device is damaged in an accident.